My first questions…
How long do you intend on having the program for (sustaining the program)? and what resources does the school have?
QUICK SUMMARY: Around 5-6 years ago, I started a EV3 program in Ghana (RoboGhana) with 2 EV3s and 1 NXT. The program is primarily managed by our FRC team 5857 and the FRC team developed curriculum. We communicate with them on a weekly basis to check on their status. Today, our program is being taught on a daily basis by local computer teachers that we hired (FRC team pays for) to teach the class. The program is also approved by the educational director in Ghana. And every summer since, we have sent 3-10 students to Ghana. Now we have over 15 EV3 and NXT Robots
SO the hardest part of the program is integration. Rural locations (especially in Africa) lack technological resources. Most schools do have computers however the computer (ICT) curriculum that the kids learn are very very basic. At first, I choose EV3 because they are very “kid friendly” and user friendly as LEGO uses the labview format (everything in pictures). But even the simple programs that EV3s use were too complicated for middle school kids in Ghana. However, I found that about 1-2 months of continuous and daily classes by our teachers made integration possible. Compared to VEX, I think EV3 is still better and easier to integrate. You should ask what resources and what the students already know before doing anything. Such as computer skills.
Do they have computers? Are the computers functional? When I first went to Ghana, the school told me they had computers before I left the USA, but after I arrived, I learned only 2/10 were functional (most schools have old computers that were donated to them by a larger company). Also do they have internet? In the small village that we work at, the internet doesnt work well. So download, print or save everything you need (INCLUDING THE LEGO MINDSTORM EXE file, powerpoints and everything you need) onto a flashdrive (Bring copies). I would also bring a projector. Typically, students need to follow along with what you do and the projector allows everyone to see clearly.
If you have enough funding, I would buy a few cheap laptops. I usually buy cheap thinkpad laptops because they are very reliable and hard to break.
Sustaining the program. THIS WAS THE HARDEST PART. When my FRC team goes to Ghana, we typically spend 2-3 hours of the day working on teaching students in classrooms. But we spend over 6-8 hours teaching the robotics teachers that we hire. The teachers are like the middle school students, they learn very slowly and if they are stuck on something, its very difficult to teach them when you are in the US.
Will the school support you? At first, the school was very reluctant to support this program (afraid to face criticism because this was not part of the school curriculum). But we reached out to the educational director of Ghana (he even went to our school to visit the program) and officially granted approval. Make sure the school will continue what you want them to do, communicating with the headmaster (principal) or school admin is very difficult when you are trying to convince them to do something from the US.
if you have any questions, feel free to ask.
Sorry if my response looks rushed and disjointed, etc. Doing many things at the same time…